Brian Catling makes cross for St Martin-in-the-Fields

A new processional cross is being dedicated on Sunday at St Martin-in-the-Fields.

It has been designed and produced by sculptor Brian Catling as part of the church’s Renewal Project.

His starting point is two pieces of wood tied together by a length of string – an allusion to St Martin tearing his cloak.

“The privilege of making the processional cross has been overwhelming, both in the excitement of the concept and the enduring nature of its meaning,” said Professor Catling.

“But also in the anxiety of getting it right. It is difficult for an artist to explain this, but the many hours of wakeful night time dreaming, becomes the forging in the imagination of the meaning of the work. This is as great a part of the process as the shaping, casting and balancing of the physical object.

“But for me it is essential that I have both a hands-on and mindful relationship with the sculptural identity of the cross. Design is not enough, I need the struggle and tension that only ever comes through deep feeling, prolonged thought, and the work of the hands.”

Vicar Sam Wells said: “The cross brings together themes of suffering, shame, and glory.

“The contorted shape of the wood invites passionate engagement with the horror and exclusion of the cross, while the gold finish inspires us to believe that all our human failure and folly will be redeemed in Christ’s final overcoming of suffering and death. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a cross that does fuller justice to both the agony and the glory of Calvary.”

The dedication of the new cross takes place during the evening service on Sunday 15 September at 6.30pm. A short reception to which all are welcome will follow.

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